Ecological risk assessments

A foundation of sustainable fisheries management is managing the impact of fishing activities on non-target species and the broader marine ecosystem.

All fisheries that interact with protected species listed under the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 must be managed to address the risks to these species.

An ecological risk assessment (ERA) is an analysis of the best available information about fishery impacts on:

  • target species
  • non-target and protected species (e.g. dugongs, turtles, dolphins and protected fish)
  • the broader ecosystem.

ERAs identify and measure the ecological risks of fishing activity and identify issues that must be further managed under harvest strategies.

ERA guideline

A priority of the Queensland Sustainable Fisheries Strategy: 2017–2027 was to develop a guideline to assess the impact of fishing activities on the ecosystem.

Our ERA guideline includes:

  • principles for prioritising ERAs according to risk
  • assessment methods that reflect national standards
  • a formal approach for identifying and prioritising management actions to address ERA outcomes.

Reports using ERA guideline